Beyond

The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space

by Stephen Walker

On Sale: 04/13/2021

Beyond

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Beyond

The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space

by Stephen Walker

On Sale: 04/13/2021

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About the Book

Beyond has the exhilaration of a fine thriller, but it is vividly embedded in the historic tensions of the Cold War, and peopled by men and women brought sympathetically, and sometimes tragically, to life.” —Colin Thubron, author of Shadow of the Silk Road

09.07 am. April 12, 1961. A top secret rocket site in the USSR. A young Russian sits inside a tiny capsule on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile—originally designed to carry a nuclear warhead—and blasts into the skies. His name is Yuri Gagarin. And he is about to make history.

 

Travelling at almost 18,000 miles per hour—ten times faster than a rifle bullet—Gagarin circles the globe in just 106 minutes. From his windows he sees the earth as nobody has before, crossing a sunset and a sunrise, crossing oceans and continents, witnessing its beauty and its fragility. While his launch begins in total secrecy, within hours of his landing he has become a world celebrity – the first human to leave the planet.

 

Beyond tells the thrilling story behind that epic flight on its 60th anniversary. It happened at the height of the Cold War as the US and USSR confronted each other across an Iron Curtain. Both superpowers took enormous risks to get a man into space first, the Americans in the full glare of the media, the Soviets under deep cover. Both trained their teams of astronauts to the edges of the endurable. In the end the race between them would come down to the wire.

 

Drawing on extensive original research and the vivid testimony of eyewitnesses, many of whom have never spoken before, Stephen Walker unpacks secrets that were hidden for decades and takes the reader into the drama of one of humanity’s greatest adventures – to the scientists, engineers and political leaders on both sides, and above all to the American astronauts and their Soviet rivals battling for supremacy in the heavens.

 

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

Beyond has the exhilaration of a fine thriller, but it is vividly embedded in the historic tensions of the Cold War, and peopled by men and women brought sympathetically, and sometimes tragically, to life.” - Colin Thubron, author of Shadow of the Silk Road

“Dramatic and dynamic. Stephen Walker’s passion for his subject along with his exceptional research and attention to detail have brought my father’s extraordinary journey vividly to life.”          - Elena Gagarina, daughter of Yuri Gagarin

“Stephen Walker sends us on an exhilarating journey into space. His book is a dramatic tour de force. Exciting, vivid, and at times deeply moving, it also makes a significant contribution to our understanding of early space travel.”                         -  Mark Bostridge, author of Florence Nightingale, The Making of an Icon

A spellbinding and completely authoritative account of Gagarin’s unexpected journey to immortality, this masterful book had me enthralled from the outset. A guaranteed gem.”                                                                                                                    - Colin Burgess, author of Freedom 7: The Historic Flight of Alan B. Shepard

“The very best account of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space mission — vivid, thoughtful, and respectful of the characters in the story. A wonderfully rendered story of an epochal event."                           - Prof. Asif Siddiqi, author of The Challenge to Apollo 

“Dramatic and dynamic. Stephen Walker’s passion for his subject along with his exceptional research and attention to detail have brought my father’s extraordinary journey vividly to life." - Elena Gagarina, daughter of Yuri Gagarin, the world's first spaceman

“Exciting, well researched, and fascinating. I loved every word.”   - Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of Alan Shepard, America's first astronaut 

 “Beyond brings to life the space race and the extraordinary story of Yuri Gagarin. Using first-hand testimony, Walker evokes the personalities, the science and the atmosphere of the time in a history that reads like a thriller."                                - Anne Applebaum, author of TWILIGHT OF DEMOCRACY

“A vivid account of the Cold War-era space race…This dramatic…entertaining and carefully researched history achieves liftoff.”                                       - Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062978158
  • ISBN 10: 0062978152
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 04/13/2021
  • Pages: 512
  • List Price:36.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Science & Technology
  • BISAC2 : HISTORY / Expeditions & Discoveries
  • BISAC3 : SCIENCE / Space Science

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